The Food and Drug Administration yesterday authorized the emergency use of baricitinib in combination with remdesivir to treat suspected or laboratory confirmed COVID-19 in certain hospitalized patients requiring supplemental oxygen, invasive mechanical ventilation or extracorporeal membrane oxygenation. Baricitinib is currently FDA-approved to treat rheumatoid arthritis, but is not authorized or approved as a stand-alone treatment for COVID-19. Although evaluation of the combination therapy’s safety and effectiveness continues, FDA said the median COVID-19 recovery time for baricitinib plus remdesivir was seven days versus eight days for placebo plus remdesivir, among other benefits, in a clinical trial of hospitalized COVID-19 patients.

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